Thursday, March 7, 2013

Be Still

Be still and know that I am God...

Stillness before dawn
Sweet, soundless intermission
Like the dew gathering

Into single drops
Not thunder-looming storm clouds
Moments suspended

Before the deluge
Of tumultuous waking
Into scheduled day

Be still and know that
God is with us, Emmanuel
It is good.  Shalom.

I have become fascinated by the word still.  Such a word nerd - the dictionary shows it as an adjective, adverb, verb, and a noun.  I actually charted the silly word - I know, word nerd... And here's what I discovered.  First, there were more meanings than I had anticipated - I'd forgotten about still photography and a distillery.  Second, the thing about the word that fascinated me before looking it up, was the connection between being still (silent, motionless, quiet), and the adverb (always, continually, increasingly, in spite of, even, yet).  And it still intrigues me.

Think about time.  We are forever trying to control it with our schedules, our clocks and watches, our calendars.  I suppose we can't help ourselves - our lives, from birth to death, follow a timeline of sorts.  So the aspect of still, in terms of time, is understandable.  It's kind of another way to describe the effects of time on us and the world around us.  My theory is, that if we can describe it, we feel we have some control over it ...I still have to finish this work...  The work didn't fit into a time schedule, so I'll have to make an adjustment to finish.  They still live there... they were supposed to move out at a certain time, but haven't ...  Still, the waves came... whatever is happening will continue to happen, like a promise of a future event; still is a hole in time, a stolen moment, a repetition of the same.  But time does not stop. 

Funny thing, I almost wrote time does not stand still....  In this case, still becomes unmoving.  Instead of a pause - instead of an unfinished or continuing moment - still stops.  God doesn't do time like we do.  Amazingly, He exists in all times.  (Thank you, Theology 101- I don't have to completely get the hows - I just need to know that God is more than I can ever understand, and I'm ok with that...)  God lives outside of time.  I think God just wants us to stop occasionally.  Stop controlling, stop fussing, stop scheduling, stop rushing, just stop.  Rest.  Breathe.  Be still.  And in that lull, that rest, that breath, we will be able to feel His presence.  We will know Him.  Still is God's promise and His presence.

God, thank you, for still.   

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